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Charles Spurgeon’s Street Traders

Charles Spurgeon the Younger, son of the Evangelist Charles Haddon Spurgeon, took over the South St Baptist Chapel in Greenwich in the eighteen-eighties and commissioned an unknown photographer to make lantern slides of the street traders of Greenwich that he could use in his preaching. We shall never know exactly how Spurgeon showed these pictures, taken between 1884 and 1887, but – perhaps inadvertently – he was responsible for the creation of one of the earliest series of documentary portraits of Londoners.

Champion Pie Man - W.Thompson, Pie Maker of fifty years, outside his shop in the alley behind Greenwich Church

Hokey-Pokey Boy - August Bank Holiday, Stockwell St, Greenwich

Knife Grinder - posed cutting out a kettle bottom from a tin sheet

Rabbit Seller

Toy Seller - King William St outside Royal Naval College, Greenwich

Ginger Cakes Seller - King St, near Greenwich Park


Shrimp Sellers - outside Greenwich Park

Crossing Sweeper (& News Boy) – Clarence St, Greenwich

Sherbert Seller - outside Greenwich Park

Third Class Milkman - carrying two four-gallon cans on a yoke, King William’s Walk, Greenwich

Second Class Milkman – with a hand cart and seventeen-gallon churn

Master Milkman - in his uniform, outside Royal Naval College, Greenwich

Chairmender - Corner of Prince Orange Lane, Greenwich

Kentish Herb Woman - Greenwich High Rd

Muffin Man


Try Your Weight - outside Greenwich Park


News Boy (& Crossing Sweeper) - delivering The Daily News at 7:30am near Greenwich Pier

Old Clo’ Man – it was a crime to dispose of infected clothing during the Smallpox epidemics of  the eighteen-eighties and the Old Clo’ Man plied a risky trade.

Blind Fiddler - outside Crowders’ Music Hall Greenwich

You may also like to take a look at

John Thomson’s Street Life in London

Henry Mayhew’s Street Traders

This post first appeared on Spitalfields Life | In The Midst Of Life I Woke To, please read the originial post: here

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Charles Spurgeon’s Street Traders


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